After years of hassles and delays, Intel’s chipmaking business finally has some good news to report. The more advanced manufacturing process the company has committed to will arrive in the second half of 2024, six months earlier than planned.
Intel has fallen behind its competitors, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Samsung due to the problems of updating their manufacture, the chip designer has been persuaded.As CEO in 2021. Shortly thereafter, Intel developed a roadmap that means In four years, with manufacturing processes named Intel 7, Intel 4, Intel 8, Intel 20A and Intel 18A. Each step optimizes the chip’s performance in relation to its power consumption.
These steps are the basis of a plan to catch up with competitors in 2024 and outpace them in 2025. If successful, Gelsinger’s plan will help Windows PCs keep pace.Bringing Intel back to its glory days at the forefront of the semiconductor business justifies it and slow the shift of chip manufacturing from the United States to Asia.
“Intel should have good confidence in [schedule] “Otherwise, why would we announce it so early?” said Kevin Crewell, an analyst at TIRIAS.
Intel detailed the progress with the announcement of its latest opening, dedicated to developing next-generation manufacturing processes. It does such work at the newly named Gordon Moore Park in Oregon, investing $3 billion in the new Mod3 pavilion at the D1X fab. Intel replicates its D1X operations across manufacturing plants around the world.
News of the manufacturing progress bodes well not only for the Intel 2024 chipset, but also for Intel’s business with steps down the road.
These steps are important for Intel’s own processors and for another part of Gelsinger’s payback plan, Intel Foundry Services, a separate business unit set up to build others’ chips the way TSMC and Samsung do. The company said that IFS customers will get access to Intel 3 and Intel 18A operations.
Gelsinger hinted earlier that chip manufacturing improvements were on or ahead of schedule, andWith test chips in February. Intel did not provide details about what went well.
The new 270,000-square-foot, 270,000-square-foot building has high enough ceilings and floors strong enough to accommodate the latest machinery used to etch circuits on silicon crystal chips, said Ryan Russell, the company’s vice president of Logic Technology. Which, after months of processing steps, became microchips. Development.
Intel has been slower than competitors in moving to chipmaking equipment that uses intense ultraviolet light to insert smaller circuit elements onto chips, a technology called optical lithography that is a key part of processor miniaturization. Under Gelsinger, Intel is trying to play better with chip-making equipment makers such as Dutch ASML. Indeed,From the second generation of EUV machines using an approach called High Digital Aperture that engraves finer lines than traditional EUV.
Intel has taken many measures to ensure that it does not repeat the mistakes made in adopting the last two manufacturing processes, called Intel 10 and Intel 7. For one thing, it is spending more money on test chips to try out different options.
“Having more silicon that you can run in parallel really allows you to speed up the development process because you can do more innovative experiments,” Russell said.
Intel, on the other hand, has separated improvements and made contingency plans so that it can keep moving forward even if all of its ideas don’t work out.
Two big developments that come with the Intel 20A are back-end power delivery, branded PowerVia, which moves electrical power supply circuits to the other side of the processor rather than mixing them with millions of communication channels. Another is a new “universal gate” design for transistors, the core circuit element that processes data, which Intel classifies as a RibbonFET.
Both are dramatic changes, but Intel is developing PowerVia with conventional transistors as well, in case there are problems with the RibbonFET approach, said Sanjay Natarajan, senior vice president of logic technology development.
Intel also adopts digital high-performance lithography with greater flexibility. That’s set to reach Intel’s chip-making process 2025, but the company could change tack.
“We are ready to intercept 2025,” Natarajan said. “If the high NA is really mature later, let’s say 2026, we’re ready for the right objections there.”